i have had an account there for over 20 years, and i am constantly being treated as if i am a stranger who is not to be trusted. every time i deposit cheques, they are held- despite the fact that i am always told "no, your cheques won't be held." i have to call the bank and have the hold removed every single time. same thing if i deposit more than $100 in an atm. they hold it for like a week. anyways, that's not bad service, per se; just bad banking. but last week, i experienced something that brought my opinion of their services to an all-time low.
i wrote out a rent cheque to my landlords. it was post-dated for may 15th (and i included a note telling them so, just in case they didn't look at the date on the cheque). despite this, they went ahead and deposited it on may 2nd. their bank must employ illiterate people, because they actually allowed the cheque to be cashed. and then once the cheque reached my bank, it was okayed again. more illiterate employees, i'm assuming. or, at least bank employees who don't grasp the simple concept that if the date on the cheque is later than the current date, the cheque should not be okayed.
anyways, i didn't have enough money in my account to cover the cheque (which was why i post-dated it in the first place) and i was charged a $35 NSF fee. i immediately called up the bank to find out what was going on. the conversation between the bank lady (bl) and me went something like this:
bl: how can i help you?
me: i wrote a post-dated cheque, and apparently you guys okayed it to be cashed, even though that shouldn't have been possible for another 2 weeks. i didn't have enough money in my account, so this caused an NSF fee.
bl: let's take a look at your account . . . okay, i see what you mean. but actually, it was the previous transaction that caused the NSF fee.
me: no, it wasn't. take a look: the previous transaction was an automatic withdrawal by the bank for an insurance payment. that went through fine, leaving me with about $2 in my account. the next item is the cheque, and following that, the NSF fee.
bl: oh . . . no, i still think it was the insurance payment that did it. i mean, why would they have okayed a post-dated cheque?
me: that's exactly what i'm trying to find out. but if you LOOK at my account details, it is quite clear that the insurance payment went through fine, leaving a positive balance in my account. right?
bl: right . . .
me: and the next thing on there is the cheque. right?
bl: right . . .
me: and my account did not have sufficient funds for that, right?
bl: umm right . . .
me: and so finally, there's the NSF fee. so, it was the cheque, not the insurance payment that caused the NSF fee, RIGHT?!
bl: oh! yeah, you're right. now i get it. so what now?
me: well, i'm trying to figure out why you guys would allow a post-dated cheque to go through.
bl: you're sure it was post-dated?
me (sighing heavily): yes. i am 110% sure.
bl: do you have a copy of the cheque?
me: no, why should i? does the bank expect their customers to make photocopies of every cheque they write out?
bl: well, it would make things a lot easier. anyways, the centre that processes our cheques is a little delayed. it's going to take like 2 weeks to find out if the cheque was actually post-dated. if it was, we'll refund the NSF fee.
me: okay, thank you.
anyways, to her credit, i actually got a message on my voice mail from her a couple of days later. when i called in the following monday, she told me that they found out the cheque actually had been post-dated (DUH!) and so they were refunding the NSF fee. however, she didn't even apologize on the bank's behalf for this (inexcusable, in my opinion) mix-up. she basically said, quite rudely, "well, lots of rent cheques come in at the end of the month. so these things happen. that's just the way it goes. if you deal with a bank, you've got to expect that this is going to happen every now and then. it's not really the bank's fault, actually." i got the impression that she thought i was making a big deal out of nothing.
her response (and initial nitwittery) really pissed me off. why should the large volume of cheques being deposited excuse the mistake? just because lots of cheques are coming in makes it okay for the bank not to check the date on each and every one of them?? come on, that's complete and utter b.s., and i'm not buying it. i've been considering closing my account at scotiabank for some time now, due to the poor service i have received. and this most recent episode is the icing on the cake. it's pretty sad that they don't seem to care about their customers, not even the long-term ones- i've been with them for almost my whole life.
thanks for nothing, scotiabank. nothing except a whole lot of frustration.